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Apple Q2 numbers show lower iPad revenue, growth in China and Japan

04/23, 5:30pm

Retail revenues virtually flat

As a part of announcing its second-quarter results, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF), exposing further facts. They reveal, for instance, that Apple's iPad revenues dropped 16.4 percent year-over-year, shifting from roughly $8.7 billion to $7.6 billion. The company has typically seen continuous growth for the iPad, but units fell from just under 19.5 million to 16.3 million. Cook later clarified that inventory changes made the drop seem much more dramatic than it actually was in terms of end-user sales.

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GameStop to add 23 Simply Mac, 400 Spring Mobile stores this year

04/23, 1:46pm

Retailer diversifies as game sales switch to downloads

US-based game retailer GameStop is planning to add 23 Simply Mac locations this year, and as many as 400 Spring Mobile and Cricket locations, says the Star-Telegram. The company bought out Simply Mac and Spring Mobile last year in an attempt to diversify its revenue. Simply Mac is an authorized Apple reseller, whereas Spring Mobile sells AT&T products; Cricket is based on the AT&T network. The expansion is expected to cost up to $140 million, based on a mix of buying existing outlets and constructing new ones. GameStop says it expects to add 200 to 250 Spring locations and 100 to 150 Cricket outlets.

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iPad joins Apple Reuse & Recycling program

04/22, 12:35pm

Credit from iPad, iPhone trade-ins interchangeable

As an extension of Apple's new recycling intiatives, the iPad is now eligible for the same Reuse & Recycling program as the iPhone. People trading in an older iPad at an Apple Store can get credit towards a new model. Notably, that credit can also be applied to an iPhone; accordingly, iPhone credit can be applied towards an iPad. An iPhone and an iPhone also be traded in together towards a single purchase, but people can't bring in two iPhones or two iPads.

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Briefly: LinkedIn retires Polls in Groups, new Microsoft retail stores

04/20, 10:39pm

LinkedIn to remove ability to run polls in its Groups feature

Social networking platform service LinkedIn has announced that it will be discontinuing the ability to conduct polls in its Groups feature. According to TheNextWeb, polls were introduced to Groups in late 2011, but the feature is now considered to be obsolete by LinkedIn as to create space for more efficient service elements. Polling will be retired as of May 15; until then, users can post questions and receive polling results.

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Apple to mark Earth Day 2014 at retail and on campus

04/17, 10:40am

Special event to take place at Apple headquarters

On April 22nd, Apple will be holding its first real Earth Day commemorations since 2006, reports say. At retail, the company is expected to cover its logos in green, and give at least some stores special Earth Day t-shirts for workers. Back at Apple's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, a "large-scale internal event" is due to happen on the afternoon of the 22nd, presumably with Earth Day as a focus.

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Apple, Google considering possibility of buying Square

04/09, 12:54pm

Google seen as most likely buyer

Both Apple and Google have explored buying mobile payment platform Square during the past year, sources say. Rumors about an acquisition have allegedly increased in recent weeks, with Google being picked as the most likely buyer, should a deal actually happen. No offers have been made though, and people close to Square's management say the company isn't actively chasing an acquisition.

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Official iPhone trade-in program reaches German Apple Stores

04/07, 9:16am

Initiative continues slow international expansion

Apple's iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program is now in effect in German Apple Stores. As elsewhere, the plan lets people get credit towards a new iPhone by trading in eligible older models. In Germany, Apple is offering up to €230 in credit, depending on the model and its condition.

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Apple opens first store in Turkey to hoopla, press, long lineups

04/05, 11:41pm

Stunning Istanbul store to be followed by second store, rumor has it

As scheduled, Apple opened its first-ever retail store in Turkey on Saturday morning, revealing a remarkable above-ground glass rectangular skylight that hides an underground two story store. The event in Istanbul attracted large crowds that circled the building and spilled out into other parts of the spectacular Zorlu Centre, with the new store situated as the jewel in the crown below the mall's main plaza, surrounded by high-end retailers.

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Images: Apple takes wraps off stunning new Istanbul store

04/03, 2:00am

Cuboid above-ground uses huge panes of glass, hides two full floors

The cover has come off the new Istanbul Apple store in Turkey a few days ahead of its official opening on April 5, and revealed a stunning new above-ground glass opening that leads down to a full two-storey Apple Store. The cuboid canopy, which acts as a skylight for the store, uses exceptionally large glass panes surrounded by a shallow pond, and is bound to be as iconic a piece of retail architecture as the company's showcase stores in New York City and Shanghai.

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Istanbul Apple Store launch official for April 5th

03/28, 9:20am

No word on whether Cook, Gül will be present

The Zorlu Center Apple Store in Istanbul, Turkey will officially open April 5th at 10AM local time, according to Apple. The launch is one day later than a local report suggested. The same report also claimed that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Turkish President Abdullah Gül would attend the opening, but Cook rarely appears at Apple Stores, and might not want to be seen alongside Gül given Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan's attempts at blocking Twitter and YouTube to silence news about his government's corruption scandal.

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Labor class action v. Apple may wait for Supreme Court decision

03/26, 1:16pm

Security practices allegedly costing some workers thousands of dollars

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in a class action suit filed against Apple are seeking to delay the case until a US Supreme Court ruling is handed down, says The Recorder. The suit, filed in the Northern District of California last year, accuses Apple of failing to pay wages for time workers spend waiting in bag-check lines. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case called Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc. v. Busk, and deciding whether hourly workers must be compensated for work-related security screenings. Should the Supreme Court agree, the plaintiffs' attorneys in the Apple case suggest it will strongly influence their own progress.

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Hannover Apple Store likely due in April; Edinburgh store in progress

03/25, 9:32am

Shops could fill in key gaps

New photos may suggest that Apple's upcoming store in Hannover, Germany is almost finished. The outlet has been under development since April 2013, and construction facades are still in place on the inside of the building. An Apple logo is now on display outside the shop though, and is being lit up at night, although it's still covered. It's believed that the location could open as soon as next month.

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First-ever Apple reseller to close on March 30

03/20, 9:41am

Encroachment of Apple Stores may to be blame

The world's first Apple reseller, Minneapolis' FirstTech, will be closing down both of its locations on March 30, reports say. Although it first began its life as Team Electronics in 1941, selling more general products, it started carrying Apple products in 1977 and then switched into its current specialization. The second outlet opened just last year in a bid to pick up sales in an area outside of the reach of Apple Stores.

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Rumors: MS Office for iPad March 27, second Turkey Apple Store?

03/17, 6:41pm

Office for iPad said to allow document creation and editing, require Office 365 subscription

On the same day as Microsoft released its official version of OneNote for the Mac, reports are flying that Microsoft will finally release the long-awaited Microsoft Office for iPad on March 27. Rumors say that the iPad release will be similar to the current Office for Mobile that exists on the iPhone, adding full document and editing support but requiring a subscription to Office 365, Microsoft's subscription-based web version of Office.

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Apple shrinks iPhone return window from 30 to 14 days

03/12, 10:12am

Brings iPhone in line with other Apple products

Apple has reduced the no-questions return window for iPhone buyers from 30 calendar days to 14, sources and new terms on Apple's US website reveal. The change is technically only due to take effect tomorrow, March 13th, but Apple's website has already made the new policy standard. As usual, returned phones must have been bought directly from Apple -- online or offline -- and include all their original box contents.

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Union Square Apple Store in San Francisco gets final approval

03/12, 9:39am

Long-delayed outlet ready to begin construction

Following preliminary approval last month, Apple has received final approval to build its upcoming Union Square store from the San Francisco Planning Commission and the city's Board of Supervisors. "We are thrilled that the city of San Francisco has given its final approval to begin work on our new store and public plaza, which will make a wonderful addition to Union Square and create hundreds of local jobs," says Apple spokeswoman Amy Bessette. "Our Stockton Street store has been incredibly popular, welcoming over 13 million customers since it opened nine years ago, and we look forward to making a new home on Union Square."

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iOS 7.1 allows iBeacons to communicate without apps being open

03/11, 4:20pm

May make iBeacons more practical

Yesterday's iOS 7.1 update also made changes to the way iBeacons work, reports say. Previously, an iPhone could only pick up notifications from an iBeacon if it had a supporting app open or running in the background; now those messages will appear even if the app has been completely closed (assuming the user has granted permission for push notifications). Alerts are also said to be more responsive, for instance reacting instantly on leaving an iBeacon's broadcast area by ceasing any notifications.

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iPhone Reuse and Recycle program reaches Canada

03/10, 10:36am

Initiative making gradual international expansion

As anticipated, the iPhone Reuse and Recycling program has been introduced at Canadian Apple Stores. The option lets people trade in an old iPhone for a gift card, usually to put towards the purchase of a new phone. In Canada, Apple is promising "up to $275" for previous devices.

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Target promo to offer minimum of $150 in credit for iPad 2 trade-ins

03/07, 11:19am

Retailer ups smartphone trade-in credit by $50 for new iPhone buyers

Beginning on Sunday, the US branch of Target will run another trade-in promotion for iPad 2 owners. People who bring in a used iPad 2 will be awarded a gift card worth at least $150. Although that credit can only be used at Target, the company is also offering an extra $30 card if a person buys a new iPad. $150 is generally higher than most specialized third-party trade-in services offer. The promotion ends March 15th.

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Istanbul Apple Store to open April 4, with Cook, Gül present

03/05, 4:47pm

First Apple outlet in Turkey

The delayed grand opening of the Istanbul Apple Store will take place on April 4, says local site ElmaDergisi. The report further claims that Turkish President Abdullah Gül will be present, along with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook only rarely appears at Apple Stores, and it's even rarer for major government officials to inaugurate a location.

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New suit says Apple Store POS devices discriminate against blind

03/05, 4:05pm

System prevents visually impaired from entering own PINs

A recent class action lawsuit -- filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida -- charges that the point-of-sale devices used by Apple Store workers discriminate against the visually impaired. Because shoppers can't enter a debit card PIN by themselves, plaintiff David New argues, Apple is in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other retailers use POS devices with "tactiley discernible keypad surfaces," the complaint remarks, meaning that there's no fundamental reason why Apple Stores should be different.

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iPhone Reuse and Recycle program expands into France

03/03, 10:24am

Canadian expansion still in the wings

The iPhone Reuse and Recycle program has been extended into France, Apple has confirmed. The program lets people trade in an older iPhone towards the purchase of a new one. It debuted in the US last year, and has since spread to the UK and (in modified form) India. French iPhone owners are promised "up to €215" ($296) for trade-ins.

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Apple pressures Indian government to relax component content rules

02/28, 12:49pm

Rules obstacle to Apple Stores

In a bid to open official Apple Stores in the region, Apple is asking the Indian government to relax rules requiring companies to source 30 percent of their components from Indian firms, says the Business Standard. Apple management staff have reportedly met with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion officials for talks. The company's position is that iOS devices simply don't have enough hardware inside to be able to meet the 30 percent rule.

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Apple TV gets $25 gift card; accessories get unique tab on web store

02/28, 11:04am

Apple TV promotion may foreshadow hardware update

(Updated with official confirmation) Apple retail workers are being told that as of today, anyone who buys an Apple TV from an Apple Store will get a free $25 iTunes gift card, according to sources. The promotion is expected to end March 5th. While the offer may simply be a means of boosting Apple TV sales, it's strongly speculated that Apple is trying to clear inventory ahead of a rumored hardware refresh which could take place as soon as April, if not earlier. Third-party vendors have been cutting their own prices in recent weeks.

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Work, hiring starts on first Apple Store in Dayton, Ohio

02/27, 10:18am

Outlet should be ready within months

Progress is already well underway toward the first Apple Store in Dayton, Ohio, reports say. The shop is replacing a former Lane Bryant at The Greene, an outdoor shopping center. A signature black construction facade has already been put in place there, and 12 job openings for a Dayton store have been posted on Apple's website. Sources for the Dayton Business Journal also point to The Greene, but neither permits nor construction workers are naming the mall's future tenant.

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Sony announces US retail layoffs; 20 stores, 1000 employees affected

02/26, 4:15pm

Move intended to maintain competitiveness in consumer electronics market

Sony Electronics today announced plans to restructure its organization, including a heavy cut in US retail presence in order to maintain what the company calls "competitiveness in an evolving consumer electronics market." In the next few months, Sony will lay off 1,000 employees across all of its sites, including the personnel attached to 20 US Sony Stores.

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Apple retail pages switch to iOS 7-like web design

02/25, 9:26am

Company continues spreading iOS 7 aesthetics

Apple has revamped the look of its retail website to borrow cues from iOS 7, visitors note. This includes things like a flatter, less skeuomorphic design, more white space, and iOS-style blue buttons. The changes extend to individual store pages as well.

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Apple iPhone trade-in program coming soon to Canada, source says

02/24, 9:18am

Program still in limited reach internationally

Apple's iPhone Reuse and Recycling trade-in program will be launching in Canada in the next few weeks, a source says. The person explains that staff training is due to begin this week. As elsewhere, the backend of the program is expected to be handled by BrightStar.

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Apple appoints new HR head; Podolny goes full-time at Apple U

02/11, 12:07pm

Corporate structure continues to change

Apple has promoted its former VP of global retail, Denise Young Smith, to a new role as the company's head of human resources, Bloomberg says. Smith is replacing Joel Podolny, who will now concentrate exclusively on Apple University. The latter is an internal institution, geared toward indoctrinating executives with the company's unique practices.

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San Francisco commission approves Apple's revised Union Square plans

02/07, 1:49am

Store to become 'even more iconic' than New York Fifth Avenue showcase

Following a hearing on Thursday, San Francisco's Planning Commission has issued a preliminary approval "with conditions" of the final plans for Apple's new Union Square Apple Store. The design, which has undergone a number of revisions and tweaks to accommodate city concerns, now embraces a historic folk art fountain it once planned to shunt aside, and creates a seating area and plaza along its back wall, as well as a front facade featuring giant glass doors.

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First Brazilian Apple Store set to open February 15

02/06, 9:13am

Also first Apple Store in all of South America

Brazil's first Apple Store will open in Rio de Janeiro's VillageMall on Saturday, February 15, Apple has announced. The shop will launch at 11AM that Saturday; regular hours will run from then to 11PM Monday through Saturday, and from 1PM to 9PM on Sundays. Apple already has a number of workshops planned, including ones for the iPhone and iPhoto on the 15th.

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Changes proposed to new San Francisco Apple store

02/02, 1:45pm

Changes include new shape, height reduction and full-height bay windows

A revised filing scheduled for hearing with the San Francisco Planning Department on February 5 reveals changes to the proposed storefront and construction details on the new Union Square Apple store location in the Bay Area city. The 258-page filing for the 300 Post Street store outlines the 23,470 square foot store and outer areas where a Levi's store now exists.

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Apple using 'sniffers' to cope with smell problems in retail stores

01/31, 2:47pm

Santa Monica store dealing with misplaced sensors

Apple Stores are using "sniffer" sensors to detect and remove dangerous or unpleasant odors, according to workers at the company's Third Street Promenade outlet in Santa Monica (pictured). Some people have complained that the shop smells like body odor, especially in the early morning. One employee explains that the location's sniffers are placed high in the building, which means that they aren't triggering the ventilation system as quickly as they should.

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PayPal approaches Apple about integrating into mobile payment tech

01/30, 11:36am

PayPal tech would be 'white-labeled' to blend into Apple system

PayPal has approached Apple about integrating itself into the latter's rumored payment technology, three payment industry executives claim. The people tell Re/code that PayPal is effectively willing to white-label portions of its payment service if Apple is willing to use them. Some shared components might include fraud detection, backend infrastructure, and actual payment processing.

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Amazon plans Kindle-based checkout, PayPal competitor, claim reports

01/30, 7:24am

Systems consisting of Kindle Fire tablet, card reader could head to stores this summer

A pair of reports claim that Amazon is moving further into the payments market, from two different directions. One plan involves offering retail stores a point-of-sale system using Kindle tablets, while another involves the creation of a system for person-to-person payments, in a similar service to that currently offered by payment processing competitor PayPal.

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Samsung opening 60 stores across Europe with Carphone Warehouse

01/29, 7:28am

Samsung-only stores brings manufacturer closer to Apple retail efforts

Samsung will be expanding upon its concept of a store-within-a-store, by completely taking over a number of stores owned by a European retailer. A total of 60 existing stores from Carphone Warehouse's chain of 1,400 will be converted into shops selling just Samsung produce, including smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and wearable devices such as the Galaxy Gear smart watch.

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Apple Q1 breakdown shows decline in Americas, jump in China

01/27, 5:22pm

iPod numbers half those shipped last year

In addition to its public announcement, Apple has also published a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its first-quarter results. Significantly, revenue from the Americas actually declined one percent year-over-year to $20.098 billion. This was compensated for by growth in other regions; Europe and Japan were up five and 11 percent (respectively), while "greater" China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) leapt ahead 29 percent to $8.844 billion. The growth was likely spurred by sales of new iPhones and iPads, since mainland China was made a first-tier launch country for the first time in 2013.

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Signage points to imminent opening of first Brazilian Apple Store

01/23, 12:26pm

Suggests February debut rather than March

Teaser signage has gone up at the location of Apple's future store in Rio de Janeiro, pointing to an opening in the near future. The site of the store, the Village Mall, has shared a photo of the signage via Instagram; the Apple logo uses a variant of a colored dots motif seen elsewhere, but done up in Brazil's national colors. Apple normally only puts up official signage a few weeks before a store launches.

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Snowblower shatters glass panel at Fifth Avenue Apple Store

01/22, 9:31am

Replacement could be expensive proposition

A snowblower has shattered one of the glass panels on top of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City, Apple has confirmed. The city was bombarded with a snowstorm on Tuesday, and the glass broke later on as crews were attempting to clean up. A store worker tells AppleInsider that although the panel was badly cracked, the shop didn't close and will continue to operate as usual. The location is normally open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, only shutting down in dire circumstances or in preparation for a major product launch.

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Briefly: H.H. Gregg iPad sale, VLC for iOS updated

01/20, 11:10pm

Regional store now offering in-store pickup, celebrates with sale

Buyers who live on the east coast or midwestern parts of the US may be able to score themselves a discounted iPad with savings up to $60 on brand-new models. Regional retail H. H. Gregg is offering the savings at all of its 228 retail locations thanks to the arrival of the iPad for in-store pickup, an expansion of its existing relationship with Apple. Until February 1, customer can save $60 on a 64GB iPad Air, and $40 on the 16GB and 32GB versions. The iPad mini models are offered with a $20 discount over normal retail price.

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Amazon gains patent for shipping items before orders are completed

01/19, 6:34pm

Anticipatory shipping patent directs products to customers mid-delivery

Amazon may start shipping items to customers before an order is completed in the future, if a recently-granted patent is anything to go by. The patent by the retailer for a "Method and system for anticipatory package shipping" was granted on Christmas Eve, with the proposed system potentially lowering the delivery times for customer orders.

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New Brisbane Apple Store opening met with long lineups

01/17, 1:20pm

Visitors hoped to score exclusive t-shirt

The opening of Apple's new flagship store in Brisbane, Australia was met with unusually long lineups, observers note. People are said to have started forming a line almost 15 hours before the 10AM launch. Many of the people in line were reportedly aiming for the store's exclusive launch t-shirt; Apple regularly gives away custom shirts during the openings of high-profile outlets.

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Shopkick to trial iBeacons at 100 American Eagle outlets

01/16, 4:22pm

Support for iBeacons building slowly

Shopkick has announced a trial of iBeacon installations at 100 American Eagle Outfitter stores, including ones belonging to sibling brand Aerie. The implementation will be the largest deployment of iBeacons at a clothing chain so far, following one of its own at Macy's, which was the inaugural retail use of iBeacons. The technology only began deploying at Apple Stores a couple of weeks later.

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Briefly: Boost Mobile offering Moto G, Sony Xperia Z1s at T-Mobile

01/14, 4:07pm

Boost Mobile to offer Moto G, its first Motorola product since 2011

Boost Mobile, the pre-paid Sprint imprint, has announced the release of Motorola's Moto G through its nationwide retail stores and online. The first Motorola product offered by Boost Mobile since 2011, the 3G budget smartphone has a 4.5-inch HD screen made with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, and possesses a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor.

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Beaconic prepares iBeacon Retail Kit for Europe

01/13, 11:05am

System aimed at small businesses

A company called Beaconic has announced the iBeacon Retail Kit, intended to make deploying Apple's iBeacon technology easier for retailers. The kit includes two or more Bluetooth 4.0 beacons and an online campaign manager. Each beacon has a two-year battery life, and a range up to 60 meters (197 feet). While iBeacon is designed for iPhones, Beaconic says it is also working on an Android app.

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Griffin, ShopKeep introduce point-of-sale case for iPod touch

01/13, 10:28am

Handles card, barcode scanning

Accessory-maker Griffin and ShopKeep have announced ShopKeep Mobile, a new point-of-sale case for the iPod touch. The case uses Griffin's Olli hardware platform, but is specifically design to be used with ShopKeep's POS app. Built into the Mobile are a credit card reader and a barcode scanner; the unit can also connect to receipt printers.

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Reuters: Three more US retailers attacked in holiday intrusions

01/13, 6:53am

Target believed to be largest in group of companies attacked by hacking group

More customers of large US retailers may have been affected by holiday shopping hacks than originally thought, according to a report. Three more retailers have apparently been targeted by hackers using similar techniques to the attacks on Target and Neiman Marcus, though it has yet to be revealed if it is the same collective responsible for Target's intrusion.

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Long-delayed Brisbane store opening on January 17

01/10, 8:14pm

Remodeled historic WWII building faced numerous setbacks

Delayed by over two years from its initial projected opening, a new flagship store in Brisbane, Australia is finally set to open on Friday, January 17. The latest Brisbane store is housed in the historic MacArthur Chambers building, which was used as a base of operations during World War II and named for General Douglas MacArthur. The project was once thought abandoned due to a contractor's bankruptcy filing and difficulty in approving renovations, but the obstacles were eventually overcome.

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Target confirms up to 70M customer records taken during recent hack

01/10, 1:27pm

Partial names, postal addresses, phone numbers taken

Target has revealed that the data breach affected far more than initially thought, with as many as 70 million account records taken in the hacking. Aside from revealing a far higher figure than the 40 million accounts believed to have been taken, the retailer has promised that those affected "will have zero liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges arising from the breach."

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US Staples stores begin carrying iPads, following online sales

01/08, 6:58pm

Expands relationship, expected to follow Canadian Staples model

While the Canadian version of Staples has been selling Apple iPads and related iOS accessories for nearly two years, the US version of the office supply chain only began offering the tablets through its website last October. Today, however, the relationship with Apple expanded into offering the latest iPad models in US Staples stores, starting today. The chain also carries Apple-branded and third-party accessories such as the Apple TV and Airport models.

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